Forum: Arts / Diaries

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re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Aug 24, 2010 01:37 PM
Edited by Fayet (160652) on 2010-08-24 13:38:03 Buying an ugly jacket obviously will have impact on your spelling abilites.
I can't belive I did this

I gave in today. After four years of holding myself straight, not retreating a single step along the way.. and now everything is gone and over. It's the end. I give in.

I bought an aqua coloured rain jacket. There, the truth is out. It even has a softshell thingy zipped into it. Warm, cosy, dry, ugly.

Is this the end? Will I start wearing hiking boots to university now? (no) Will I wear a backpack? (no) Will I buy ugly scarfs? (no) Wear fleece sweaters? (no) Sweat pants? (no)

Cathy nearly fell of her chair laughing when I appeared in it for the first time. I mean, okay, it's not pretty. But it's a rain jacket. I will wear it on my bike when it rains, and in the forest when I go hiking with Mom and Dad. And on the boat when I'm sailing with Alex. And that's about it. When there's no cloud to be seen I will still wear my fancy little numbers, I will still wear my stylish scarfs, and my awesome summer shoes. It's just that now, when it rains, I'll be dry. Maybe that's worth it. Still, I feel like I sacrificed my usual put-together look on the altar of usefullness.

And since everybody in this city wears rain jackets as soon as the first cloud appears (they love it here, let me tell you) wandering through the streets was a strange sensation. I was one of them. They were smiling at me. Welcome to hell, darling.
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Tiggerpants
On Tue Aug 24, 2010 02:29 PM
Last year I went on a trip to Oban in Scotland with a friend. I packed lots of warm but trendy clothing - my jeans with red converse, lots of plain tank tops and colourful scarves with my red coat. I knew it would be cold but I hadn't expected it to rain. Still, I soldiered on in my now damp coat until eventually my friend appeared in the hotel room one morning with a package for me. It was a waterproof jacket he had gone and bought for blue and hideous, at least 2 sizes too big since he didn't ask me because he knew I'd say no. But never have I been so glad to own a piece of hideous clothing, the rain didn't stop for the rest of the week but I was warm and dry. Sometimes ugly coats just need to be embraced.


(The only time I wore hiking boots to uni was when we went on field trips, generally always muddy affairs)
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:34 AM
Edited by Fayet (160652) on 2010-08-25 00:35:15
^Isn't it awesome how ugly clothes sometimes are just the best? I think it's very cute of your friend to get you a rain jacket and help you stay dry and warm (and probably to enjoy your trip more). Awesome friend! :) I'd love to see Scotland, too - but I always fail when I try persuading Alex. Hm. Maybe in a few years... Thanks for sharing your story!
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:45 AM
Maybe Summer is just over

Image hotlink - ''

I have a distinct feeling that summer might be over and gone. There are a few signs that point to this..

1) The weather forcast predicted sunny heat for today. When I opend the blinds the sky promised exactly that.. but when I went down to get the newspaper I nearly froze. It's cold outside! So I added a jacket to my polo and cardigan, but still wore mocassins without socks - bad idea.

2) It's getting windy! Biking was hard on me today, and I was all hot when I arrived at university (which was better than freezing, but still..)

3) The tree my window looks out to starts to change it's color, and I saw the first red leaves.

4) Back to school! The school holidays in my state are over (the university term won't start till october), my friend in the US is back at her college, and there are school supplies in the windows everywhere

5) I started to think about my fall inspiration. Sometimes I get those moments, when I need to turn my mind off the tracks it's racing in all day and think of something completely random. This autumn I will asemble an inspirational post and put it online. It will probably go up Sunday, so stay tuned!

Picture Source
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Aug 25, 2010 09:11 AM
Poetry at work

I came across this poem searching something work related on the internet, and found it too fitting not to share it with you. Plus I want to remember it, but don't want to have private stuff on my university computer.

Note to self: Find out wether your ex-boss is ignoring you. And then find out why it bothers you so much. Are you jealous of Cathy? Really? Shame on you. She deserves all the attention she gets.

Poem of the day

At Least

I want to get up early one more morning,
before sunrise. Before the birds, even.
I want to throw cold water on my face
and be at my work table
when the sky lightens and smoke
begins to rise from the chimneys
of the other houses.
I want to see the waves break
on this rocky beach, not just hear them
break as I did all night in my sleep.
I want to see again the ships
that pass through the Strait from every
seafaring country in the world—
old, dirty freighters just barely moving along,
and the swift new cargo vessels
painted every color under the sun
that cut the water as they pass.
I want to keep an eye out for them.
And for the little boat that plies
the water between the ships
and the pilot station near the lighthouse.
I want to see them take a man off the ship
and put another up on board.
I want to spend the day watching this happen
and reach my own conclusions.
I hate to seem greedy—I have so much
to be thankful for already.
But I want to get up early one more morning, at least.
And go to my place with some coffee and wait.
Just wait, to see what's going to happen.

Raymond Carver
re: Coffee, books and suitcases (karma: 1)
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Aug 26, 2010 01:07 AM
Radical self love

Recently I stumbled over Gala Darling's blog and instantly fell in love with her. Not only is she clever, but also very daring, fierce and pretty in a unique way. I especially love her "Radical self love" articles, and devoured them all, noticing that her blog isn't only colorful, but damn - she has something to say, and that's not something you find often on the internet.

So I really want to recommend her blog to you, and especially today's article:

Radical Self Hate - Stop the madness!. Read it, it's good and true. And while you're at it, don't miss out on her article Empty bellies do not beget genius. I've been fiddeling around with some bad food behaviour for years now, and recently I found myself close to the edge.. and it was her words that pulled me back. Listen to her and think about it.
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:42 AM
School spirit

Today I revieved an email from a good old friend who left Germany to go to college in the US. She supplied me with her new adress and informed me that she had just settled down and the new year (her third) was driving her crazy as she had changed schools and everything was new.

Which, of course, immediately send me to a google search and a good session of stalking her college to see what it was like. Which in turn send me into the deep pit of nostalgia.. and so I looked out of my window over the deserted campus of my own and thought a bit.

The average american college experience is so different from the average university experience a german student has. The age you start is different, the whole system is different, and the life is different. And something is lacking here.. it's the school spirit.

Image hotlink - ''

The wave of nostalgia brought me back to the time I spent with Alex in the US. Alex holds a legal degree from Duke University, and since I had some time to spare in my own schedule I spent some time there, worked in the libraries and experienced campus life. And man, I loved it.

Now, of course I only took part in a small part of campus life. Not being a real student made it more or less difficult to attend lectures, but I smuggled myself into quite a few classes held at the law school (did I ever tell you that I hold a dergree that incorporates law? No? Whoopsie. Yeah, I'm half-part trained lawyer) and of course used the library systems while writing up a legal thesis I had to hand in on my return. I enjoyed the carefree life, and beautiful campus and the vibe it had.

Image hotlink - ''

I was amazed to experience the school spirit. Granted, you probably love something you're shelling out 40,000 bucks a semester (I nearly fell down on my face when someone metioned that number! Unbelivable.. who can afford that?) by default, but still! The first thing I bought was my Duke sweater I still live in during cold winter nights. Then it got warmer and I needed T-shirts. I still regret not buying this clear water bottle with the universities name on it. I needed those items for my camouflage as a Duke student, but I loved them too. And people just had those things. People wore sweaters with a big "D" (mine is pink), people had water bottles with the name on it, it was just something done. Incredible and awesome. I liked how everybody was just part of that community, but also how much things were going on. The campus was always full with people, there were always shows and discussions, lectures, places to sit and read. It was inspiring to be there.

There were, on the other hand, things I can live without. Food hall? Check. Snobby porsche-key waving girl on the bus next to me? Check. Loud frat boys in the library? Check. Massive under-age drinking (Duke has a reputation for that)? Check.

But the other parts were awesome. Alex really enjoyed his time there. We were mostly running with the international crowd (and made friendships for life), but we also packed in a few american friends. It was an experience I'd never want to miss. Those beautiful front-poch BBQs, those long walks over the campus, those hours pondering the selectiong at the Whole Foods opposite of the campus, studying in the library, walking those (pseudo) gothic hallways, sitting on the Quad in the sun.. yeah.

So, I don't hold a degree from an american university. But I have plenty of school spirit, and that's alreday quite something, don't you think?

Let's go Duke! :)

Picture Source. If you want to see more of the pseudo-gothic wonderland Duke is, check out the Wikipedia article. And if you want to know something about the german university experience, let me know and I'd be happy to write something up for you.
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Aug 27, 2010 01:07 AM
Edited by Fayet (160652) on 2010-08-27 01:11:41
There's a good day and there's a..

Image hotlink - ''

I own a bento box that I brought in Tokyo (I have a large post about Tokyo on my mind that I will write up on the next days and share with you) that has exactly this saying on it. And today it's a rainy day. Outside, mostly. I woke up to the drumming of the rain in my window and knew before I got up that I won't leave my flat today. Nope. No way I'll get on my bike in this weather. I'll put on my aqua coloured rain jacket later today and take the tramway to university, but not before three o'clock in the afternoon. Now I'm all bundled up at my desk, having a big cup of Earl Gray from Kusmi tea. I love their tea boxes, they are so pretty to look at and the quality of the tea is quite good as well. Sadly they are really expensive, but Alex gave me a box of Earl Gray for my birthday in May, and there's still a bit of tea left in it. Isn't it pretty?

Image hotlink - ''

Well, this one isn't actually Earl Gray but Irish Blend, but the box is quite similar to the one I own. And is there anything better than a cup of tea when the wind is howling outside of your window? Not needing to go out, maybe. I just discovered that my fridge is almost completely empty besides two eggs and jam and milk. Sounds like there'll be pancakes today for lunch, doesn't it?

And because it's friday and therefore the beginning of the end of the week (yes!) here's a list of things I'm looking forward to do this weekend:

*have coffee and cake with my "adopted family" here this afternoon, which I'm so looking forward to. Their girls are just so nice and fun, and it's a very homely feel, like, well, a second family.

*meeting Chan and her husband tomorrow night for a japanese cooking session. Those guys are just the sweetest beings on earth, and it's just so much fun. Alex was really jealous when I told him that they invited me, because he used to play basketball with Chan's husband and likes both a lot as well. These guys were the first in my circle of friends to get married last summer, and we were invited and enjoyed a beautiful wedding and had much fun. Such a lovely couple.

*writing my autumn inspiration post tomorrow - it's the weather for it for sure!

*enjoying a lazy sunday morning breakfast: Only me, fresh bread rolls, good coffee and the sunday morning newspaper. It's a me-time that I love

*continue reading "Wolf Hall" - such a good book! I'll write a lenghty review here when I'm done, but so far I can only recommend it

*brushing up on my knowledge about manuscripts studies (I've got sunday afternoon reserved for this)

What are you looking forward to do this weekend?

Sources: 1, 2.
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Aug 28, 2010 04:39 AM
Edited by Fayet (160652) on 2010-08-28 04:40:57
Inspiration for Autumn

There's a leaf in my teacup

Do you want an umbrella with that? Because it's autumn, you know.

Image hotlink - ''

An umbrella doesn't make it a bad day. Autumn doesn't make it a bad month. For autumn is, after all, a fresh start into something new. It might not be a new school year or university term, but can you feel the wind? It's blowing from the north, carrying salt and sand with it, a promise of the angry sea and a far away horizon.

Image hotlink - ''

While summer chases you into the street, into the parks and beaches, autumn tells you that it's okay to sit inside and drink tea, all by yourself or with your best friend in the world. Autumn means cozy cafés, floors filled with umbrellas, dripping jackets. Autumns means colored leaves falling quietly from wet branches. While summer means worrying about your legs (tan? shaved?) autumn means bundling up. Autumn means duffle coats and cashmere scarfs, leather gloves and new books. Is that a new book bag you're carrying?

Autumn means searching for a new horizon. Maybe even leaving, for good, or only for a week. Or a year. Autumn also means coming back. Coming home. Coming inside and looking around. Do I like this lamp? This rom? This life? It's already dark outside. Where are the candles? Autumn means dusting off those books. Look, let's try making a batch of these muffins! Come over, let's cook together. Autumn means that the shoulder you're leaning onto is clothed in grey cashmere. And those socks! Did your mom make them? Lucky you.

Image hotlink - ''

I'm chasing my heart out into the streets to look for you. I told it not to come back until it found you. Do you think I should wait for it?

Out, out brief candle! The nights are getting longer, and the days shorter. But those adorable boots! Don't you like the smell of new leather? I can't believe you finished all this work in just one rainy sunday. Call me, won't you? I love your nail color.

Image hotlink - ''

Do you think I should buy a pumpkin this year? I love pumpkin soup. Waking up early makes you feel fresh. Getting a head-start. The wind is blowing the clouds over the hills, into the distance. It's France over there, isn't it? Imagine chocolat chaude near the cathedral, with a fresh croissant on a windy morning. Your cap looks very pretty, be careful, don't let the wind steal it from you. Don't let the wind still YOU, while we're at it. Okay? Great. Because, you know, it's autumn, and if I don't watch you you might just take off and fly away, like a children's kite, high in the air. And I will stand here, smile and wave, and watch you drift away into the distance. Send me a letter, yes? And tell Autumn I love him.

Image hotlink - ''

In a station of the metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.

Ezra Pound

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Aug 29, 2010 06:09 AM
Sunday things and sunday fun

No day like sunday. When else can you just live into the day without having a huge check-list to kill? Waking up whenever you please, exchanging lunch with breakfast, even eating breakfast three times a day and diving into some serious talk with the sunday newspaper... I really do like sundays. Although the small of my neighbours cooking (lots of fat, I think) invades my room currently, and the weather is less than pleasant.. Sunday! And I'm still enjoying the terrific food we had last night. Who knew I could cook authentic japanese food that well? I enjoy the company of Chan and her husband. Plus Chan just cut her hair and now as the most adorable pixie cut. I'm jealous and wish I could look that cool, but even with short hair I'm still just a dork. Oh, well. One can't have everything.

Sunday fun

Don't know what to do today? Well, here are a few things you could do..

1. Learn something about Japan. Maybe something about Wasabi, cram schools (be happy that you're not a japanese student) or Bento?

2. Laugh about Milk and Muffin

3. Get some info about how to travel light and meet Tim Feriss, a weird guy who does all kind of freaky things that just make me laugh and shake my head.

Sunday thing

Image hotlink - ''

Source - and and intresting blog to check out, too
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Aug 30, 2010 01:10 AM
Much wind on a monday

What a night. The storm hit our town around three in the morning and woke me up from the most terrible dream that left me clutching my pillow for a few minutes more after waking up. I debated turning on the lights and reading to calm my mind, but somehow I couldn't bring myself to move. So I lay, listening to the rain, all kinds of weird thoughts racing through my poor strained mind. Will someone steal my bike, just now? Why is the rain so loud? It got stranger and stranger, and at some point I must have fallen asleep again, because the alam clocked beeped suddenly very loud, and it was six in the morning on a cloudy, windy monday. What the mind can do to us! There's not terror in the world like the one our mind can produce.

Thing of the day

Image hotlink - ''

re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By celestia836
On Mon Aug 30, 2010 04:07 AM
Ah, I love storms like that and the day following them! They can be a bit scary sometimes, though. When I was little, I used to run into my parents' room and sleep in between them or on the floor next to their bed when thunderstorms scared me, and I will admit that there have been a few times in recent years when I've been tempted to seek comfort in their room again. But I am 22 now, and a bit too old for that sort of thing. C'est la vie.

And the perfect thing to do on a cold, damp, windy day like this is to have a nice cup of tea or coffee, no? :D

I love today's 'thing of the day.' It is so true, even for someone like me who thinks a lot about everything all the time.
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Aug 30, 2010 05:35 AM
Edited by Fayet (160652) on 2010-08-30 05:38:33
^Oh yes, I can clearly remember running through the hallway in pursue of my parent's bed. And whenever thunderstorms crash at the windows I find myself yearning for that kind of comfort again. It's one of the downfalls of growing up (and having a long-distance relationship). Good to hear I'm not the only one! Funny enough I had lunch today with a colleague, and she told me that she woke up at the exact same moment as I did, and from a strange dream as well. How bizarre.

The wind is still howling, this time around the building I'm now having my office in, and I can see how the clouds race over the hills above the town. I can't open the window! If I do all the papers try to fly. At least the perfect weather for tea, yes indeed.

Here, by the way, is the poem most fitting for my dream and everything we talked about.

Poem of the day

Part four: Time and Eternity


One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

Far safer, of a midnight meeting
External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.

Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one’s own self encounter
In lonesome place.

Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,
Be horror’s least.

The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O’erlooking a superior spectre
More near.

Emily Dickinson

I just realized that I posted Pablo Neruda's "Don't go far off" twice. I need to be more careful when I select my poems, it seems..Sorry!
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Aug 30, 2010 09:27 AM
Monday, the third

It seems that I'm flooding my own diary today. Originally I meant to post nothing today, and now look at this!

I just came across the last words of Satoshi Kon, a japanese anime director who passed away 24th of August, aged only 46. He left a very moving document behind, and I wanted to share his beautiful farewell with all of you. Here's the translation of his last words, by Maki from the fab blog Just Hungry. It's an amazing document, showing one man's strenght in the face of death, but also how big a cultural gap can really be.
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Aug 31, 2010 01:09 AM
When architecture simply isn't enough

If you're an avid reader of style and design blogs like me, you've probably wondered about the kind of people that live in these clean styled homes. I don't know how your home looks like, but my one-room-student-thingy is rather not-so-pretty and IKEA styled. I'd buy stylish furniture if I weren't constantly on the move.. So I remain jealous of all those people in their pretty design homes.. or do I? Unhappy Hipster doesn't think they are so happy, after all.
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Aug 31, 2010 03:37 AM
A quest, although not quite for the holy grail

..but it might be just as difficult. I have finally decided that I need a new book bag. The decision was enhanced by two facts: My beloved book bag tote, named "George", has issues with the main zipper. I can't close it anymore, and that means everything inside gets wet when I get caught in a rain. Ugh. Secondly, George is a tote and therefore needs to be carried in my bike's basket on my way to university. But as I try not to take main roads the streets are sometimes plastered with potholes. And everytime I crash into one my bones go "Ouch!" and my MacBook screams for it's life. I do not want my MacBook ruined by those streets!

A backpack is not an option. I got one three years ago, when I was carrying my heavy latin dictionary and books around with me everyday and did not have an office, but that's over now. I never liked backpacks, not even in school, so I won't get a new one. Instead I decided on a messenger style bag where I can shorten the strap and carry it on my back instead of on my hips.

Sadly the pretty leather satchel I feel in love with earlier had to be discarded, as leather isn't durable enough to withstand the rain, and then I'm back in the beginning. The second reason is that leather is quite heavy, and I need a rather big bag to fit books plus the MacBook inside. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. It's payday today, so I'll probably go on an excursion after lunch and check out some bags.

I really like this bag

Image hotlink - ''

because of several reasons: It's got a ship on it (drool), it's made in Germany (in Harbour City!) out of recycled sails (yes, real sails! it even has a tag inside telling you the name of the ship that sailed with that canvas once), which means that it's very duarble, stain resistant and waterproof, and I really like the design. I don't, however, like the price. What a pity.

We'll see how this quest turns out. Will the city joungle provide the brave knight with good results? Or will it leave her cursing designers, society and her taste? Find out, on this channel, very soon, when the quest for the book bag continues! Tadaaam!
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:41 PM
There's this loneliness in my bones

Obviously everything has been alright today. Okay, so I failed in my quest for a bag, but I expected this. I met Chan for lunch (awesome, the cafeteria-food was even edible!), Daisy for Coffee, and Ginny inbetween. I chased Sue away, which was okay. So, all in all, plenty of social contact with living people today. Then can somebody explain to me why I felt lonely the very second I climbed upon my bike to go on the ride home? I don't get it. All the way home I felt like heaven was about to crash down on me, to literally fall on my head. It didn't, of course, and now I'm fed and watered, and sitting safe in my bed, but still.. there's a loneliness inside my bones that just won't got away. It's always there, lurking in the shadow like a huge animal, sometimes leaping out and letting it's ugly roar sound. Not matter how hard I try, I can't chase it away.

But desperate times call for desperate measures. I'll go now and call my mommy to whine. Take that, loneliness!

Image hotlink - ''

Hell, yes.

{source. This is a work by artist Stefan Brüggemann. He calls it "text pieces". Check out his website, there's plenty more awesomeness there.}
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:39 AM
Welcome to a new month

Finally August is over. When a month lasts so long I feel like it's old and battered looking and needs to be replaced by something shiny and new. Like september!

When I left my house today I steped into a perfect autumn day. The sun is shining, the sky is of a beautiful blue, and it's crisp, fresh, and oh-damn-cold. Cyceling to university I wondered if H&M already sells glvoes..? I must not forget my beloved leather gloves when I go back to Soutern Town.

And that reminds me that I haven't told you yet: I am invited to participate in an international conference-workshop-thingy, and will leave Southern Town this Saturday. Lucky for me the workshop takes place in Central City, so I will visit my parents for the weekend, then check in to my hotel, attend the workshop and spent the remaining days again at my parents house. For you that means a week without me, and for my diary it means being banned to page two or three of this board. Hmpf. Will you surive without my stupid ramblings for a while? I hope so.

I'm crazy about this workshop thingy. They usually only invite people holding a scholarship (I don't, although my grades would qualify me to apply for one - it's the fact that I hold a research position at the faculty that stopped me from doing so), but my boss know someone who works there and got me invited nevertheless. The workshop is very intersting, titled "Legal manuscripts in the latin middle ages", hold by a professor from the U of Michigan, two profs from U of Central City and one guy from Perugia. I've tried to figure out what kind of language we'll speak, and I guess it's going to be held in english. Well, could be worse (could be french, ha!), but nevertheless I need to brush up on my latin vocab. Badly. And let's not mention my italian vocab, oh sweet jesus.

So I got a pretty long "to-do-list" for this week, and I think I'll need to sacrifice a few days just for brushing up on my languages and on my vocab knowledge when it comes to manuscript studies. And just because I feel whiny, here's my to do list:

Must be done till friday night

[] Brush up on italian vocab
[] Brush up on latin (vocab and grammar)
[] Re-read manuscript studies book
[] Prepare short speech about my project, just in case
[] Print and arange all the documents I'll need
[] Re-read textbook about legal history (on train home)
[] Check with manuscript department of our library about book
[] Sort notebooks and paper, pack ink and pen
[] Bring books back that are due
[] Clean flat
[] Empty fridge
[] Oh God, the flowers.. throw flowers away
[] Write short note to Ann explaining where I am
[] Do laundry (sheets especially)
[] Pack suitcase
[] Buy bottle of champagne for my uncle whose birthday I forgot
[] Arrange rent to be paid

Looks still managable. We'll see how it turns out, shall we?

Have a great september!
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Sep 01, 2010 07:42 AM
If I didn't have to-do lists, I think I would melt into the ground from being so overwhelmed. I hope you get to tick lots of boxes this week!

Now go throw away those flowers. :)

re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Sep 01, 2010 01:35 PM
^Thank you! It was actually your post that made me really do it. I had just setteled down after inhaling a bowl of pasta for dinner, read your words, and kicked myself to get up and throw them out. The box is already ticked..

Difficile est saturam non scribere

It is hard not to write a satire about this. (I actually just had to look up "satire" in my online dictionary. It's "Satire" in german too, btw. Seems that three languages at the same time are too much for my poor brain).

I tackled the "latin vocab and grammar brush-up" part today.. and someone should write a satire about it indeed. How can so much get lost inside my brain? I deal with latin texts quite often, but most of the times it's a quick scan, I get the meaning, continue. And even more often those are medieval latin texts, meaning the grammatical structures are much closer to our modern languages and don't have all those traps classical latin has.

Today I translated Seneca, using a crappy dictionary from the library and the far too big textbook Joane gave me that I might buy myself tomorrow. It was pretty sad, but it's good that I realized that now instead of next week when I'm at the workshop. There's much room for improvement.

It took me two hours for a text that is usuallly used to examine students for the qualification on latin. These examns are called "Grand Latinum" or "Small Latinum" here - the "Grand Latinum" requires better skills as the "Small Latinum". I passed the "small" examn in my first year at university, and the "grand" in my second years. Passing the "Grand Latinum" is in my field of studies required to progress to grad work (meaning the last years before you take the examns for the master) Obviously it's been a while..

So tomorrow I'll carry my own dictionary, maybe buy the huge grammar book so I can give Joane hers back, and have a nice long talk with Cicero.

For today, I'm done. Goodnight, everybody..

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re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Sep 02, 2010 03:07 AM
Sleep, anyone?

I'm on my second cup of black tea (scratch that, it's already the third), but somehow I just can't do anything. I'm pretty tired, despite falling dead into bed before it was even ten p.m. last night. It doesn't help that I think I'm might develope a cold.. Life is cruel.

So, instead of long words, here's something funny to cheer you and me up.

Thing of the day

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re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:28 AM
One day to go + Lessons about german culture

Don't you like those fresh mornings when you wake up before your alarm-clock lets its horrible beep sound? I woke up around 6 o'clock this morning, fresh as a daisy and surprisingl awake. Usually I get up around 6.30, so these 30 minutes were like a gift. I actually already put the sheets into the washing machine, put new sheets on the bed, showered, cleaned the tub afterwards, cleaned the bathroom, took the trash out and went through my houshold accounts. Incredible. I arrived at university as the bells chimed 8 o'clock, and now I'm here and have the whole morning to myself. I think I will get quite a few things done today, and that's good because I really need to.

I even had time to read the newspaper. There's currently a huge discussion about a book a guy called Mr. Sarazin wrote. He's on the board of the German federal bank (or he was, as his removal was organized today) and his book is called "Germany abolishes itself". In it he laments the downfall of the german society due to immigration problems with, plainly stated, dumb muslim immigrants. So far it was okay, as Germany indeed has a problem with their immigrants.. but then he said something about jews, and that's your death sentence in Germany, as someone will immediately call you "our Führer". You can read more about the book in this short english article I found. The discussion already started last week, long before the book has been published, so obviously I haven't read it. In fact, all of this is just the prelude to what I really wanted to tell you about:

There was a small article in my newspaper today about Mr. Sarazin who claimed in his book that our culture is going under, mainly because we're all getting dumb. He especially lamented the lack of knowledge concerning literature and poetry, and used "Wanderers Nachtlied" (Wayfarer's Night Song) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe as an example. A show tried to prove him wrong and asked several teachers at High Schools and students on the street about it, and found noone who knew it. Then they asked people in the studio, and they didn't know it either. Reading the article I tried to remember the poem, but couldn't. That got me thinking, and while I was making my bed I realized that I do indeed know "Wayfarar's Night Song" - everything else would be sad, taking into consideration that I took german literature as a minor!

And you'll know the poem soon, too. Just scroll down a bit, where you'll find the english translation underneath the german original. It's really one of the finest examples of romantic german literature, and just as cheesy as that part of literature tends to be. Enjoy!

Poem of the day

Wanderers Nachtlied

Über allen Gipfeln
ist Ruh
In allen Wipfeln
spürest Du
kaum einen Hauch
Die Vöglein schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur, balde
ruhest Du auch.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wayfarer's Night song

Over all the hilltops
is calm.
In all the treetops
you feel
hardly a breath of air
The little birds fall silent in the woods.
Just wait, soon
You'll also be at rest.

Translation by Hyde Flippo

Now don't feel like this is the best literature germany has, yes? It does get much better than that. I have no clue why people deem this poem to be the best one Goethe has ever produced, for it's not. Really not. Trust me.
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Sep 03, 2010 06:07 AM
Being minimalist

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I think I wrote before somewhere in this blog/diary that empty is my kind of style. Recently I have started to adopt this idea on the things I own as well. I never really thought about it, but when I moved last time it hit me: I have stuff. Oh-so-much-stuff. I have books, and clothing, and bags, and shoes, and pictures and tea cups, spoons and bowls, pillows and an ugly rug. I threw things away when moving out of my last appartment, but somehow I never got around of really getting rid of stuff. I developed a pattern to get rid of a few things by giving them away as gifts: When someone says "That's pretty!" of something I own, I offer it to him/her as a gift. Usually people are shocked, but sometimes it workes. Of course there are things of high sentimental value that I would not part ways with - things like my grandgrandmothers necklace, Alex' ring, my grandmothers wine glasses.. but for smaller things? Sure. (I happen to have a friend from Kurdistan who even gives away her jewellery if you say it's nice. I never comment on anything she has to prevent that.. she says it's a cultural thing). I do the same with books: When I read a book and it reminds me of someone I give it to that person afterwards. Plus it saves shelf space!

I stood in a cheap jewellery store today (think "Claire's" or something along those lines) to buy a fake gift for Callie whom I'll meet tonight for drinks. I picked something, saw a pair of earrings that I liked, and realized that I indeed earn good money now. The idea grew that I could buy some cheap funky earrings for myself, and I scanned the store.. but suddenly lost the will to really do it. I paid for Callie's gift, and left. At home I realized that I was good with my decision. I really don't need a pair for cheap earrings. I own about 5 pairs already, and more hidden somwhere. Why did I feel like I wanted something new in the first place?

The answer was provided when I stumbled over this blog post while surfing mindless through the internet after lunch (fusili with soy-bologna - awesome). The lust for new things got me thinking quite a bit. So did minimalist books. Maybe I can really try to follow through with my ideas of having less. I will move so many times, and I really don't think I need all the stuff I own. Everything I have pulls me down.

Do you think I can really do this?
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:01 AM

I just ticked the last box on my "To-Do" list. Go me! Although I didn't really do much for my italian.. but it has to work as it is. Now I'll hop on a streetcar to meet Callie for some cocktails.

I can't belive that I really finished everything! But the flat is clean, the suitcase awaits further packing on the floor, but is nearly full, and I even did the laundry. Wohwho! No work done today besides that, but one can't have everything, I guess. Instead I sewed the elastics on my new flats and even did some pirouettes for fun in the kitchen. Not that working on my thesis would have made more sense.. oh well.

And with that I'll leave you for now. Have a terrific weekend, and don't forget me! Maybe I'll manage to chime in on sunday, but I don't think so. Take care!
re: Coffee, books and suitcases
By celestia836
On Fri Sep 03, 2010 07:28 PM
I would not say I'm a minimalist, but traveling has certainly been an enormous eye-opener for me when it comes to assessing the stuff I've amassed over the years. I used to like little trinkets and things, and now I really have no use for them. They sit and gather dust; I barely even notice them on my shelf after a week or two. My ideal room would be comfortable, with a big soft couch or bed, some pillows, and a blanket, and have one or two simple decorations, like an old glass bottle or jar with some wildflowers in it. Or something. But not eighteen knickknacks on this shelf and a dozen over there... it's just so cluttered!

Hope you have a great time this weekend, and congrats on finishing that impressive to-do list. Care to send some of that productivity my way? ;)
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